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Barrel bombs dropped from regime helicopters killed at least 71 civilians in Syria's Aleppo province Saturday, after forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad retreated from the neighbouring northwestern region of Idlib. Insurgents now control the vast majority of Idlib after Al-Nusra Front -- Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate -- and its allies overran the last remaining regime-held city and surrounding villages. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said "at least 71 civilians were killed, and dozens were wounded, when regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the city of Al-Bab and in Al-Shaar in east Aleppo city".
By David Alexander and Rachel Armstrong SINGAPORE (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Saturday that China's island-building in the South China Sea was undermining security in the Asia-Pacific, drawing a scathing response from the foreign ministry in Beijing. Carter, speaking to top defense officials from the Asia-Pacific at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, acknowledged that several countries had created outposts in the region's disputed islands, but he said the scope of China's activity created uncertainty about its future plans. "China has reclaimed over 2,000 acres, more than all other claimants combined ... and China did so in only the last 18 months," Carter told the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum.